Block by Block

Building a more inclusive city through storytelling, one neighbourhood at a time.

Welcome to Block by Block. Since 2018, we have been documenting stories of civic life and placemaking in four Toronto neighbourhoods. All of them have historically served as landing spots for newcomers. And all are now changing rapidly — with rising rents and new developments.

Our city-wide team of young, diverse leaders have worked to document both past and present in these neighbourhoods. We have conducted over 100 in-depth oral history interviews with newcomer, immigrant, racialized and Indigenous community members. Through them, we’ve heard stories of displacement, migration, arrival and survival. We’ve learned about informal community networks, grassroots organizations and places that matter. We’ve reflected on the sights, sounds, smells and relationships that make these neighbourhoods feel like home.

Now, with this exhibition, we turn the conversation over to you. How are these stories like your own? How can they guide future city-building? What do you hope for the future of your neighbourhood?

Read more about the Block By Block Exhibit

Featured Neighbourhoods

Toronto’s rapid development is altering the social fabric of its neighbourhoods. From the razing of low-rise malls in Scarborough, to the redevelopment of Regent Park, to rising rental costs in Parkdale, neighbourhoods that have been landing points for migrant communities are in intense flux. This rapid change particularly impacts newcomers to the city, who rely on local networks, services and economies when putting down roots.

From 2019-2022, Block by Block has focused on four Toronto neighbourhoods that are in the midst of redevelopment. They are: Agincourt, Victoria Park, Parkdale and Regent Park. In each neighbourhood we started locally. We hired teams of young people with community connections to learn from the lived experiences of local residents. Each team was supported by at least one neighbourhood-based partner organization. These local collaborations culminated each year with Block Parties—events that shared and celebrated community stories and connections. Altogether, we have documented 100 oral histories, created 12 local exhibitions, and co-curated an evolving online exhibition.

Find the stories preserved within each neighbourhood by clicking below


August 20 - November 20, 2022

Block by Block:
Stories of migration, life, and change in four Toronto neighbourhoods

Sep 12, 2022

Searching Beyond Archives:
Block by Block Exhibition Launch

Poster Exhibition​

In 2020, we installed posters at 25 sites across the city, including small businesses, community centres, and settlement agencies. The posters explored feelings of home, community care, and leadership rooted in the oral histories we collected in each neighbourhood.

The poster exhibition ran from November 12-30, 2020 and in some locations, continues to be shared in windows, grounding the area in memories of place and belonging.

Use your imagination to colour in these pages!
This illustrated poster series reflects on neighbourhood traditions, community gatherings, and forms of community care in Agincourt, Regent Park, Parkdale and Victoria Park. Each image is based on experiences that community members have shared with us. Illustrated by Ulama Saif.

We Thank Our Funders

We acknowledge our partners